Complaints Panels in Social Care
Users of social care services in the UK are increasingly encouraged to come forward with their complaints, as a means both of remedying individual deficiencies and of improving services in general. However, many local authority complaints managers have little guidance on running complaints panels, beyond knowing the UK legislation and the Department of Health guidelines, and are frequently not aware of how other authorities' panels are conducted. This benchmark guide aims to improve the development of panels and to help local authorities achieve the best practice. The book is built on the authors' many years' involvement in - and extensive research into - panels in several local authorities. Aiming to enhance the work of panels for the benefit of all involved, the book: introduces the legal requirements and procedure of UK complaints panels * identifies potential pitfalls and suggests how to avoid them * advises on achieving best practice, including real case examples * explains for advocates and their clients what to expect from the experience. It contains chapters on the following areas: a brief introduction to complaints panels * the composition of panels, the role of its members, and how the make-up of the panel may be challenged * arrangements for the panel hearing, including timescales and delays, the provision of information for all parties, and the suitability of venues * the panel hearing and who can attend, the procedure during the panel, how long it lasts, and recording the meeting * panel recommendations, including time pressures, confidentiality, and types of recommendations * the procedure after the panel, including time limits, the role of the Director, follow up of recommendations, and feedback. The book is relevant to everyone involved, including new and experienced panel members, complaints managers, those responsible for overhauling complaints procedures, directors of social care who have to respond to the panels' recommendations, anyone going before a complaints panel, and advocates and lawyers representing those who are making complaints.
Publication Date: 10/1/2010